Privett Family Website

Privett Family

Special thanks to genealogist Frederic Saunders for his invaluable assistance in tracking down many of these records. If you are looking for relatives in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky he does excellent work for a very reasonable rate and I highly recommend him.

William Franklin "Frank" Privett was born on December 17, 1904 in Kelso, Arkansas (Desha County). He was the son of Marion Herman Privett and Lucinda Harper. After a rather tumultuous childhood and early adulthood in Kelso and Little Rock (and hoboing through the south), Frank ended up settling in St. Louis, MO, working as a steelworker at Scullin Steel. Frank married Eva Alpha Morton in 1927. The family relocated to land around seven miles south of Salem, MO that was purchased from Eva's parents sometime in the 1930s. Frank continued to work as a laborer in St. Louis and joined the family in Salem during periods when there was no work in the city. Frank Privett passed away on December 15, 1997 in Salem, MO and is interred in Corinth Cemetery.

Marion Herman Privett

Marion Herman Privett (father of Frank Privett) was born around 1878 in Tennessee to William and Mollie Privette. The only record I have found of his origins is in the 1880 census in Tipton County, Tennessee (District 8, Roll T9-1282, Page 412B), which is northeast of Memphis. In the 1910 census he lists himself as being born in Tennessee and it is likely that he was born in Tipton or Crockett County (see William Privette below). Although he was remembered by his son as being named Herman and gives his name as Herman in the 1910 census, on his 1903 marriage license he gives his name as M.H. Privett, which is consistent with the 2-year-old Marion listed in the 1880 census.

Herman and Lucinda Privett Marriage: Herman Privett and Lucinda Harper were married in Desha County in 1903. Their marriage license is dated February 14, 1903 but, curiously, has no actual date of marriage. Although Herman lists his last name on the marriage licence with a final-e (Privette) and his parents spelled their name likewise in the 1880 census, by the 1910 census he had begun spelling the name without the final-e, a spelling that was kept by his immediate descendants. Herman and Lucinda Privett had three children: William Frank Privett, Elizabeth Privett, and Jeff Davis Privett. Herman Privett worked and lived in logging camp in Desha County, AR and supplemented his income by raising crops. Herman Privett supposedly loved to hunt and passed that enthusiasm on to his son, Frank. Lucinda and the children left Herman around 1911, reputedly because Herman was an alcoholic and/or would/could not provide adequately for his family. Lucinda and the children moved to Wilmot, AR living with her older sister Martha and her husband Ben Staton who was a lawyer. Staton helped make arrangements for Lucinda and the three children to enter an orphanage called the Working Women's Home in Little Rock, AR.

Herman Privett Death: The family story had been that Herman Privett died of Bright's Disease sometime around 1914/15. Supposedly it was common in that time for a divorced woman to state that she was widowed to avoid the stigma of divorce, and Lucinda specified "wid Herman" on her listing in the 1915 Little Rock City Directory. However, a draft registration card dated 9/12/1918 lists Herman very much alive in Kelso with his nearest relative listed as his son Frank (then 15 years old), supposedly also living in Kelso. On the draft registration card lists his occupation as a "Farmer", employed by B.F. White. An Arkansas Death Certificate lists a Herman Privett as dying on February 12, 1920 at the Arkansas State Hospital for Nervous Diseases. The cause of death is listed as mitral regurgitation (a heart valve disease), with interstitial nephritis chronic (a kidney disease leading to kidney failure) given as a contributary cause of death. The kidney problem is usually caused by toxins that cause damage to the kidney and could have be related to alcoholism. Since mental hospitals were used for alcoholics in that period, his presence at the Arkansas State Hospital may confirm the family story of his decline and demise. Regardless, he is listed as having been buried in the hospital's graveyard. That graveyard was later moved to a location that is currently at the intersection of I-430 and West Markham Street. Some remains were moved a second time to the Arkansas Health Center in Benton, AR, but since the graves were unmarked, it is impossible to know with any certainty where his remains are interred in Little Rock and/or Benton.

Herman and Lucinda Privett Children: Herman and Lucinda Privett had three children:

William Privette (father of Herman Privett, grandfather of Frank Privett) was born around 1848 in Tennessee to Little and Mary Privette. No information about William was passed through the family and what little is known about him must be gleaned from public records.

Mollie Privette (wife of William Privett, mother of Herman Privett, grandmother of Frank Privett) is listed in the 1880 census as having been born around 1852 in Tennessee. She lists her father as being born in North Carolina and her mother as being born in Tennessee. No further information about her origins, maiden name or ultimate fate is currently available.

Children of William and Mollie Privett: William and Mollie Privett had at least four children. I cannot find census records for any of these people past 1910, but it is fairly safe to say that none of that generation of Privetts were blessed with simple or stable family lives.

Little B. (Berry?) Privette (father of William Privette, grandfather of Herman Privett, greatgrandfather of Frank Privett) was born around 1821 in North Carolina. In the 1850 census he is listed as living with his wife, Mary, in Fayette County, Tennessee and gave his occupation as farmer. Based on the ages of their children, they presumably got married around 1842 in North Carolina and moved to Tennessee before 1852. Little Privett passed away sometime between 1852 and 1860 as his wife is listed as a widow in the 1860 census. The 1850 census is the only record I have of him, although his origins in North Carolina (where there were a large number of Privetts) is a topic for further research.

Mary Privette (wife of Little Privette, mother of William Privett, grandmother of Herman Privett, greatgrandmother of Frank Privett) was born around 1825 in North Carolina. No information about her was passed down through the family, but there are quite a number of records of her existence and these were the key to finding the ancestors of Frank Privett's father, Marion Herman Privett.

Children of Little and Mary Privette: Little and Mary Privette had five children:

Privett Family Website